Category Archives: Wildlife

National Park employee in MONTANA recovering after BEAR attack ~ Exotic TICKS appear to be establishing themselves in ALASKA ~ EEE infects 1 HUMAN and 7 HORSES in NORTH CAROLINA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS fatality in SOUTH DAKOTA ~ RABID HORSE in FL, CAT in ON-CANADA.

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Image courtesy Alaska Fish & Game.

Montana 08/29/16 dailyinterlake.com: by Sam Wilson – An off-duty employee of Glacier National Park was injured by a bear Saturday evening on the east side of Glacier, according to a park spokesman. Public information officer Tim Rains said the employee was picking berries a quarter mile off the trail near Red Rock Falls in the Many Glacier area when she surprised the bear, believed to be a grizzly sow. He declined to name the employee, but said the bear injured her leg and hands. The injuries are not life-threatening. Rains said she was hiking with a companion and was carrying bear spray, but did not have an opportunity to discharge the canister.

map-many-glacier-south“She walked most of the way back, and then was carried on a litter the remaining portion of the [Swiftcurrent] Trail,” Rains said. “We believe it was a grizzly — there was a sow and her cubs noticed in the area, but we do not have a definitive confirmation.” She was first taken by Glacier County EMS to Browning for medical attention before being transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where Rains said she is currently being treated for her wounds. Because the attack resulted from a surprise encounter, Rains said park officials are not actively searching for the bear. – For complete article see http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/bear-injures-glacier-park-employee/article_0ec2595a-6e16-11e6-b709-63cb5cb9d2d3.html

Ticks:

asset_upload_file730_103598Alaska 08/27/16 adn.com/alaska-news: by Ned Rozell – While Alaskans have long endured dense mosquitoes and frigid air, we’ve always had the absence of venomous snakes and dog ticks. But the latter may be establishing themselves here. Ticks that infest red squirrels, snowshoe hares and a variety of birds have always been present in Alaska, but a team of biologists and veterinarians recently found five non-native ticks on Alaska dogs and people. In a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers identified brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, Rocky Mountain wood ticks, deer ticks and Lone Star ticks in Alaska. A few of those creatures hitchhiked up on animals and humans that had recently visited the Lower 48. But some had not.

 

American Dog Tick2

American Dog Tick

“It appears the American dog tick is established in Alaska,” said Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and a co-author of the study. “Some of the dogs (with the tick) had not traveled or hadn’t had contact with traveling dogs.” “That is not a good thing,” said Randy Zarnke, Beckmen’s predecessor at the Department of Fish and Game. He wrote a 1990 paper about the potential for some harmful ticks to survive our winters should they reach Alaska. “(The American dog tick) attaches to humans and can spread diseases that we haven’t had to worry about up until now.” The American dog tick can transmit the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can secrete a toxin that can cause tick paralysis in dogs and humans, said Lance Durden of Georgia Southern University, lead author on the paper. Tick paralysis can be fatal if it affects breathing muscles. – For  complete article see http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/science/2016/08/27/exotic-ticks-appear-to-be-establishing-themselves-in-alaska/

 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

EEE_400x300North Carolina 08/26/16 wect.com: Seven horses and one human have been infected with mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis this summer in North Carolina. The disease, also known as EEE or ‘Triple E,’ can cause inflammation of the brain. There is a vaccine for horses, but there is none for humans. State Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health officials noted there was a single case affecting a human reported in North Carolina. Cases affecting horses were reported in Brunswick, Hoke, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson and Wake counties.  “Triple E is not communicable between horses and people,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams, DVM. “It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. While Triple E is very rare in humans, when it does occur it is a serious illness, so it is very important to take protective measures against mosquito bites.” Symptoms for EEE in humans may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. Those at highest risk live in or visit woodland habitats. – See http://www.wect.com/story/32851133/mosquito-borne-virus-infects-seven-horses-one-human-in-nc

West Nile Virus (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1South Dakota 08/30/16 siouxlandmatters.com: by Lukas Voss – The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed the first death of West Nile Virus in the state in two years and this season. The individual has not been identified but placed in the age group between 80 and 89. This marks the 74th confirmed case in the state with most of them being diagnosed with the common West Nile fever, 12 percent were found to suffer from the more severe neuro invasive diseases. – For  complete article see http://www.siouxlandmatters.com/news/local-news/one-dead-of-west-nile-virus-in-south-dakota

Rabies:

Horse%20MouthFlorida 08/31/16 clickorlando.com: by Dawn Brooks – After a horse tested positive for rabies Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County issued a rabies alert for the Weber Road area in Malabar. Officials said all residents should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and that domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.  – See http://www.clickorlando.com/news/rabies-alert-issued-for-part-of-brevard-county

Canada:

Ontario 08/29/16 cbc.ca/news: The rabid cat found in Haldimand-Norfolk last week did in fact come from rural Ancaster, the city confirmed Monday, marking Hamilton’s first case of domestic rabies in over two decades. “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed today that this cat was infected with the raccoon rabies strain,” city spokesperson Aisling Higgins said in a statement. “During the course of the investigation fewer than five people have been identified in Hamilton as having had exposure to the rabid cat.” – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/rabies-cat-1.3740478

 

 

IDAHOAN family saves toddler from jaws of MOUNTAIN LION ~ CANADIAN girl survives BLACK BEAR attack ~ U.S. declares ZIKA emergency in PUERTO RICO ~ LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS near fatal for NORTH CAROLINA lad.

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Idaho 08/13/16 http://idahostatejournal.com/: By Debbie Bryce – Quick thinking by an Eastern Idaho family most likely saved the life of their 4-year-old girl after she was snatched by a mountain lion during a family camping trip Friday, according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game. In a press release Saturday, Senior Conservation Officer Gregg Losinski said the incident occurred near Green Canyon Hot Springs east of Rexburg. Losinski said the family spotted the lion early Friday, which in itself is unusual. He said that when the cat appeared later in the evening and attempted to snatch the child, the family began yelling at the cougar, and it dropped the girl and fled. According to the family, the child sustained minor injuries in the attack. After the incident, the family packed up camp and took the child to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls to be examined. Jennifer Jackson with Idaho Fish and Game said mountain lion sightings are rare, and reports of attacks on humans are even more uncommon. – For complete article see http://idahostatejournal.com/members/family-saves–year-old-daughter-from-east-idaho-mountain/article_f74210ab-a124-5682-8cdb-9fec52839759.html

Black Bear Attack:

Canada:

Black-Bear-Cub-and-Mom-BingFreeUseLicenseBritish Columbia 08/14/16 ctvnews.ca: A 10-year-old girl walking with her father on a hiking trail in Port Coquitlam, B.C. on Saturday was attacked by a black bear that witnesses say tried to drag her off into the woods. The girl’s father and others successfully fought the bear off with rocks and sticks. She was rushed to hospital with critical injuries, according to a spokesperson for B.C. Ambulance Service. “It didn’t want to let go,” one witness told CTV Vancouver. “It pulled her into the bush and was trying to pull her further and people were whacking its head, eventually it let go but tried to bite her again.” The bear, which officials say was with its cub at the time, was later located by wildlife authorities and killed. Conservation officers tranquilized the nearby bear cub and said the animals were likely drawn to the area by the smell of garbage. It’s unclear what happened to the cub. – See http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/it-didn-t-want-to-let-go-girl-10-attacked-by-black-bear-in-b-c-1.3028064

Zika Virus:

VIRUS-ZIKA-44National 08/12/16 wsj.com: by Thomas M. Burton – The federal government on Friday declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico because of the spread of Zika, saying the island’s pregnant women were particularly at risk because of the possible birth defects linked to the virus. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell took the step at the request of Gov. Alejandro García Padilla,underscoring the urgency of dealing with the spread of Zika. The island has reported more than 10,000 confirmed cases of Zika infection, about 10% of whom were pregnant women. HHS said the declaration enables the use of public funds to hire workers to eradicate mosquitoes in an effort to reduce the spread of the infection and to educate women of childbearing age on how best to avoid the virus. – For complete article see http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-declares-health-emergency-in-puerto-rico-over-zika-virus-1471040670

La Crosse Encephalitis:

lacrosse (2)North Carolina 08/12/16 wfmynews2.com: An 11-year-old Asheville boy is now recovering at Levine Children’s Hospital because of La Crosse Encephalitis. His mother says he could have died if it wasn’t caught soon enough. JJ Wise’s mother says he was playing outside, was bitten by a mosquito and quickly developed severe headaches that didn’t seem to go away with treatment. “They did some MRI’s, they did some more tests and they did another spinal tap on him,” said Kim Wise. Doctors eventually determined the boy was bitten by a mosquito infected by the La Crosse encephalitis virus.  He was rushed to Charlotte and was hospitalized. Friday the family invited NBC Charlotte into the hospital to share his story. JJ suffered a stroke, which triggered speech issues and weakness. Now he’s learning to keep his balance while walking down the hallway. JJ says, “I’m good, I’m getting stronger and stronger.” He says he has a message for his friends back home.  “I hope all of you are doing better and hopefully no mosquitoes bite you.” – For complete article see http://www.wfmynews2.com/news/health/north-carolina-boy-nearly-dies-from-mosquito-bite/296419115

 

BEAVER attacks two people in CONNECTICUT ~ COYOTES attack humans in CALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA and RHODE ISLAND ~ COLORADO reports first WEST NILE VIRUS fatality of 2016.

 

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Image: Bing.com Free Use License.

Connecticut 08/10/16 http://wtnh.com/: Two people were attacked by a beaver on the Quinebaug River near the Pomfret/Killingly line. DEEP officials are warning swimmers and boaters to stay away from the area.  “It appeared to be one animal that bit and injured two people,” said Dennis Schain the Communications Director with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Karen Greb and Gahrett Bond were attacked Monday evening as they were standing in the river.

Greb wrote in this Facebook post:

“Beavers do attack. I was swimming in the Quinebaug River just standing there when something clamped down on my rib cage. I shoved my hand in its mouth to get it to release me and tore the ligament in my thumb.”

Her boyfriend Gahrett Bond jumped in to help her and that’s when the beaver attacked Bond latching onto his leg.

“We did nothing to this beaver. But they do attack viciously just be careful. This is truly what nightmares are made of.”

Forest_Animals_Wallpaper_-_BeaverThe couple ended up in the hospital with serious injuries. “Both of them required them multiple stitches and we understand the woman who was attacked actually is going to need on surgery her hand. Depending on where you got bitten and how prolonged an attack was which is even rare to happen the injuries could be serious,” said Schain. As a precaution, the couple is undergoing treatment for rabies. “This attack was very unusual. Healthy beaver usually don’t go after people and beaver don’t often get infected with rabies,” said Schain. DEEP officials did encounter a beaver with aggressive behavior, but have been unable to capture the animal. – See http://wtnh.com/2016/08/10/beaver-attacks-two-people-on-the-quinebaug-river/

Coyote Attacks:

127e83b7d11bf0a4e4d2de638e42016fCalifornia 08/09/16 .latimes.com:  by Erica Evans – Police have ordered the closure of a popular Montebello park and petting zoo after three people were attacked recently by coyotes. Although incidents of coyotes attacking small dogs and cats are a fact of life in Southern California, attacks on people are rare, and officials and neighbors alike expressed worry Tuesday over the animals’ brazen behavior. Two of the victims were forced to seek treatment for possible rabies infection. “People are not food for coyotes,” said Andrew Hughan, information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Generally, they’re afraid of us.” Wildlife personnel shot and killed four coyotes at Grant Rea Park Monday night and one more Tuesday evening, officials said. They also set up traps with bait but did not capture any animals that way. The park, a grassy recreational area that covers about one square mile at 600 Rea Drive, features a petting zoo filled with ducks, goats, donkeys, sheep and other animals, as well as a playground, several baseball diamonds and picnic tables. Officials ordered the park closed Monday night and said it will remain closed until the Department of Fish and Wildlife determines that it is safe for the public.  The three victims — two men and a teenage girl — all suffered unprovoked attacks. – For complete article see http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-coyote-attacks-20160809-snap-story.html

coyote-2Pennsylvania 08/09/16 post-gazette.com: by Andrew Goldstein – A coyote that tested positive for rabies was shot and killed hours after it bit a man Monday night in Lincoln Borough, according to the Allegheny County Health Department. The coyote was shot Tuesday by officers with the Lincoln Police Department, the county said, and Pennsylvania Game Commission employees took its carcass to the health department lab, where it tested positive for rabies. The bite victim, who was identified only as an adult male, has already begun post-exposure treatment, the health department said. Even though the rabid coyote was killed, the health department warned that because coyotes are pack animals, others may be infected. – For complete article see http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2016/08/09/Coyote-tests-positive-for-rabies-after-attacking-Lincoln-man/stories/201608090198

WLD-08-RK0017-01PRhode Island 08/08/16 http://turnto10.com/news: by Jessica A. Botelho – A Warwick apartment complex is warning residents to be aware of coyotes after police said they received reports that a person was bitten in the area. “Over the last 24-48 hours, we have received multiple reports of coyotes approaching buildings, pets, and humans in the areas of buildings 1-8,” Cowesset Hills Management wrote in a letter to residents Monday. Cowesset Hills, which is located on Greenwich Bay at 3595 Post Road, also told NBC 10 News during a brief phone interview that management is working with Warwick police and environmental authorities “to resolve the issue as fast as possible.” Police confirmed that they received reports that a coyote bit someone at the complex on Sunday. Authorities said they were again called to the area on Monday, as a coyote was behaving erratically. According to police, the coyote was shot and killed as a result, and the Department of Environmental Management is investigating whether it was the same coyote. – For complete article see http://turnto10.com/news/local/person-reportedly-bitten-by-coyote-at-warwick-apartment-complex-authorities-say

West Nile Virus (WNV):

West-Nile-death-1024x576Colorado 08/11/16  denverpost.com: by John Ingold – Thirteen people in Colorado have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this year, including one who died from the disease, the Colorado Health Department announced Wednesday. Three of the cases were in Boulder County, according to a news release by that county’s public health department. The cases in Boulder County involved a 74-year-old woman, a 47-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy. None of the three were hospitalized. It is unclear where the other cases have been reported, and health officials would not release more information about the death. The first case of West Nile virus was reported this year in June in Larimer County, said Jennifer House, the state public health veterinarian. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in its announcement Wednesday that people, animals or mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile in 14 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Bent, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Gunnison, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Morgan, Rio Blanco and Weld. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/10/west-nile-cases-death-colorado/

Wildlife officials want to use drones and peanut butter to help vaccinate PRAIRIE DOGS for PLAGUE ~ GRIZZLY attacks woman near CANADIAN campground west of CALGARY ~ Child in NORTH DAKOTA infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO​ confirms WILD RABBIT had TULAREMIA ~ RABID CAT reports from NY & TX.

Black-footed_Ferret_Learning_to_Hunt

Black-footed ferret pursuing prairie dog. Image courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 07/20/16 fastcoexist.com: by Adele Peters – For the endangered black-footed ferret—an adorable if vicious predator that lives in prairies—one of the biggest threats to survival is the bubonic plague, which is wiping out their prey: prairie dogs. To help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to start using drones to spray candy-sized snacks, filled with plague vaccine, across prairie dog colonies. Without the prairie dogs, the ferrets can’t survive; the dogs are both a food source and a source of a burrow .  .  .  The location, the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana, is an ideal test site. It’s remote and far from air traffic, so drones wouldn’t interfere with planes. If it works, the technique might eventually be used in some of the other 27 sites where ferrets have been reintroduced. – For complete article and photos see http://www.fastcoexist.com/3061955/wildlife-officials-want-to-use-drones-to-shoot-peanut-butter-snacks-at-prairie-dogs

Bear Attack:

CANADA:

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alberta 07/19/16 http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/: by Colleen Schmidt  – RCMP and emergency crews were called out to a bear attack near the Trapper’s Hill Campground west of Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Police received a call about a bear complaint at about 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched members to the scene to investigate. A woman and her boyfriend were having a picnic down by Ghost River and witnesses say they came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cubs. Coleman Blair’s father owns a campground in the area and he was driving when he saw the couple being chased by the bear through the river. Blair rushed in to help and says by that time the bear had the woman’s arm in its mouth but he was able to pry its teeth open.

He says the bear could have done more damage to her if it wanted to and that he believes it was warning her. “If the bear wanted to do some damage, I mean they’d both be dead. It was, in bear talk, more of a warning, a gentle warning, a bite like that, it wasn’t serious in that kind of regard but yeah they got a warning and it happens quick, that’s what people need to understand, it’s not, you don’t have time to get your bear spray out or take your time, it happens right now, they’re already on top of you, they’re fast,” he said. The woman was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation has been turned over to Fish and Wildlife and they have closed Township Road 270 and are moving campers out of the affected area. – For video see http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/woman-injured-in-bear-attack-west-of-calgary-1.2993337

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQNorth Dakota 07/20/16 http://bismarcktribune.com/news: by Blair Emerson – A school-age child in northeast North Dakota has been infected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal disease, spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva, the state Health Department reported Wednesday. The child, who was hospitalized, was in contact with rodent-infested buildings, according to a news release.  “This case serves as a reminder for people to be mindful of the presence or evidence of rodents when cleaning a house, barn or other building, especially in rural areas,” said Jill Baber, epidemiologist with the Health Department’s division of Disease Control. “It is important to avoid actions that raise dust, such as sweeping or vacuuming, if signs of rodents are present.” There have only been 15 cases of hantavirus in the state since 1993, seven of which were fatal. Nationally, as of Jan. 6, about 690 cases have been reported and 36 percent of these cases resulted in death. – See http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/school-age-child-infected-with-hantavirus/article_ebc39e4a-3939-5ad7-a54a-35f55da2b677.html

Tularemia aka Rabbit Fever:

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/18/16/ krdo.com/news/: by Chris Loveless – Rabbit fever has again been confirmed in Pueblo County. A rabbit that was collected from the Hatchet Ranch area in the southwestern part of the county has tested positive for Tularemia. “Pueblo residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares, and on the ground where these animals may be active,” said Vicki Carlton, program manager in the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Although there are no human cases of tularemia identified in Pueblo so far this year, Colorado has experienced human tularemia cases in people who have been exposed to contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria,” she said. – For complete article see http://www.krdo.com/news/Pueblo-County-rabbit-tests-positive-for-Tularemia/40732732

Rabies:

rabidcat.niagractyhealthdeptNew York 07/20/16 niagara-gazette.com/news: A cat that attacked a woman and her dog on July 13 on Demler Drive in Wheatfield has tested positive for rabies, according to the Niagara County Health Department. The woman, who sustained multiple bites and scratches, is undergoing treatment to prevent rabies infection. That treatment includes post-exposure treatment of immune globulin injection at the site of the bite along with a series of four rabies vaccine injections in the arm muscle (deltoid) over a 14-day period. The cat was humanely euthanized. Anyone who may have had contact with the white, grey and black cat on or before July 13 is being asked to call the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444. – See http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/cat-that-attacked-woman-in-wheatfield-had-rabies/article_e20f1eb4-4e0f-11e6-8c31-5bba39688a84.html

Texas 07/15/16 .ksla.com: The Animal Control Officer in DeKalb has issued an alert advising residents to have pets vaccinated for rabies after a woman was bitten by a cat on her own property and the cat has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/32457796/etx-city-on-alert-for-rabies-after-woman-bitten-by-cat-gets-infected

MONTANAN killed by BEAR in Flathead National Forest ~ Hiker attacked by GRIZZLY in ALASKA’s Denali National Park ~ NEW MEXICO confirms fourth HANTAVIRUS fatality this year ~ ARIZONAN dies of TULAREMIA ~ CDC data for 2014 indicates MAINE is worst state for LYME DISEASE ~ GA RABID DOG report, MD, NJ, NY, NC & SC RABID CAT reports ~ Eleven HORSES down with EEE in FLORIDA.

 

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Montana 06/26/16 kbzk.com: By Dax VanFossen – Wildlife officials and law enforcement officers are continuing to search for a bear or bears that attacked and killed a 38 year old West Glacier resident on his bicycle on Wednesday near the town of West Glacier. The attack on the pair of bicyclists took place about a mile up the trail leading to Half Moon Lake, and according to Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Lieb, it was a very sudden attack. The victim has been identified at Brad Treat of West Glacier, a career law enforcement officer with the Flathead National Forest. It appears that Treat and his companion surprised the bear on the trail which may have led to the attack. A press release from Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says that Treat was “taken off his bike” by the bear, and was pronounced dead on the scene. The second rider was able to escape the area to get help and was not injured or involved in the attack.  Authorities are asking visitors and area residents to stay out of the area until the bear in question is captured.  Initially, authorities believed it was a grizzly bear that attacked, but now are not certain whether it was a grizzly or a black bear. – For video and complete article see http://www.kbzk.com/story/32340403/multiple-people-attacked-by-grizzly-bear-near-west-glacier

grizzly56578BingFULAlaska 07/03/16 newsminer.com: by Weston Morrow – A hiker was bitten by a grizzly bear on the Savage River Alpine Trail on Friday, the same day Denali National Park staff reopened the Savage River area from earlier bear closures. The hiker, 28-year-old Fangyuan Zhou, was hiking the trail along with two friends when they encountered an adolescent grizzly bear about one-quarter mile from the trailhead. Zhou’s group had seen the bear earlier and made efforts to avoid it, but when the bear charged them they played dead. The bear bit and scratched Zhou before walking away. It returned several minutes later, but a group member was able to scare it off by throwing rocks in its direction. National Park Service staff provided Zhou with initial medical care, but Zhou chose to take herself to a hospital in Anchorage for additional treatment. The bear that bit and scratched Zhou was one of the same bears involved in several other incidents in the Savage River area in the last two weeks. Those earlier incidents caused park staff to close much of the Savage River area near 15 Mile Denali Park Road on June 24. – For complete article see http://www.newsminer.com/mobile/grizzly-bites-hiker-at-denali-national-park/article_9a60c0ea-40bd-11e6-a4d6-b782070bf083.html

Hantavirus :

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Deer mouse.

New Mexico 06/30/16 abqjournal.com: by Olivier Uyttebrouck – A 20-year-old Torrance County woman has died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome — the state’s sixth case and fourth death this year from the viral illness, the New Mexico Department of Health announced today. Hantavirus infection is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. The deer mouse is the main carrier for Sin Nombre virus, the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. Deer mice can be found throughout New Mexico, said Dr. Paul Ettestad, the department’s public health veterinarian. “Cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting material in enclosed spaces can concentrate the virus in stirred up particles that can be breathed in, so people need to be very careful when cleaning up mouse-infested areas,” Ettestad said. “Using a disinfectant spray on areas with rodent droppings and waiting 15 or 20 minutes before cleaning will kill the virus and decrease your risk.” – For complete article see http://www.abqjournal.com/801259/nm-reports-fourth-hantavirus-death.html

Tularemia:

zoonosis_tularemia (2)Arizona 07/08/16 http://azdailysun.com/: by Emery Cowan – An individual in the Flagstaff area who contracted tularemia, also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever, has died from the illness, the Coconino County public health department announced Thursday. This is the first confirmed case of tularemia in Coconino County this year and the first fatal case in more than a decade. There have been four human cases of tularemia in Coconino County since 2005, two confirmed cases in 2005 and two in 2015, none of which were fatal. Tularemia is a bacterial disease that infects rabbits and other mammals. It does not spread from person to person but can be transmitted to humans through the skinning and cleaning of game animals, usually rabbits, through deer fly and tick bites, by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by pets who have contracted the disease. In Arizona, tularemia activity occurs at elevations above 3,000 feet. The disease can be severe and fatal if not treated properly and immediately with antibiotic therapy. – For complete article see http://azdailysun.com/news/local/rabbit-fever-death-confirmed-in-coconino-county/article_f00711cf-ff4a-5ef3-8622-1bba095b05bc.html

Lyme Disease:

1553355554National 07/02/16 http://247wallst.com/ by Samuel Stebbins  – Lyme Disease is a debilitating, sometimes deadly infection, transmitted to humans through bites of blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks. Lyme disease typically induces flu-like symptoms, including sore joints, and headaches. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, 300,000 Americans are infected with Lyme  disease each year. In the last 10 years, Lyme disease has been diagnosed in every state except for Hawaii. However, 96% of all confirmed cases of Lyme were isolated to only 14 states in 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed CDC data on confirmed cases of the disease to determine the worst states in the country for Lyme disease. In Maine, there were 87.9 confirmed cases of Lyme disease for every 100,000 state residents, the most of any state and more than 11 times the nationwide diagnosis rate of 7.9 cases per 100,000 Americans.  – For video, complete article and link to the 12 worst states for Lyme Disease see http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/07/02/the-states-with-the-most-lyme-disease/

Rabies:

78483649Georgia 07/05/16 dawsonnews.com: by Michele Hester – A Dawson County woman is receiving treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog June 24. County officials confirmed the rabies case June 29, saying the public should not be alarmed as the dog in question has been euthanized. “The Georgia Public Health Laboratory tested brain tissue from the dog for the presence of the rabies virus,” said Bill Ringle with the department of public health. Two other dogs belonging to the same owner were also put down as a precaution, according to Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg. “The two other dogs came back negative for rabies,” he said. Ringle said the decision to euthanize the two dogs was made “because one had injuries from when it was attacked by the confirmed rabid dog and the other dog had a leg injury that could not be accounted for.” None of the three dogs had been vaccinated for rabies, according to Ringle. – See http://www.dawsonnews.com/section/1/article/18946

New Jersey 07/06/16 newjerseyhills.com:  A black stray adult female cat with an injured rear leg, which lived in the area of Old Highway 22 between New and , tested positive for rabies on Tuesday, July 5, according to the Clinton Police. Area residents who may have had contact with this cat at any time between June 15 to June 29 should notify their primary care physician immediately or the Hunterdon Medical Center Emergency Room to discuss concerns regarding possible exposure and the need for post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. – See http://www.newjerseyhills.com/hunterdon_review/news/stray-female-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-police-say/article_9af2b718-0edf-51fd-bbec-a34e26e96ad9.html

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsMaryland 06/30/16 oceancitytoday: By Katie Tabeling – Worcester County Health officials are reminding residents to exercise caution with wild and feral animals following the discovery of a rabies-infected cat prowling around West Ocean City last month. The cat was found at Ocean Village at Old Bridge, a townhouse community on Old Bridge Road on June 11. According to county officials, the small orange and white tabby feline was being fed as part of a colony of cats at the property. “The cat appeared [to be] sick to a Good Samaritan, and it was taken to a veterinary office for treatment,” said Angela Richardson, the environmental sanitarian with the health department. “The veterinarian determined the cat’s symptoms were indicative of rabies.” The feline exhibited neurologic deficits, was dragging a hind leg and was aggressive when handled. After a preliminary diagnosis, the veterinarian reported to the Worcester County Environmental Health and requested rabies testing. Public officials confirmed that the cat tested positive and was later euthanized. Richardson said that the cat bit or scratched three people when it was handled. – For complete article see http://www.oceancitytoday.net/p/rabid-cat-caught-in-west-ocean-city-neighborhood/1543527

New York 07/01/16 recordonline.com: by Amanda Loviza-Vickery – A cat in the Town of Bethel has tested positive for rabies, prompting Sullivan County Public Health Services to remind residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets. The household cat, which spent time indoors and outdoors, is the second confirmed case of rabies in Sullivan County this year. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of reported rabies cases, but when they are not vaccinated and are allowed to roam freely, pets can be exposed to rabies by wild animals, Public Health Services said. Keep pets up to date on rabies vaccinations, and don’t leave them outside unattended, the department said. Don’t try to separate two fighting animals, and wear gloves to handle a pet after a fight. Keep property free of bird seed and food garbage that could attract wild animals. Don’t feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, don’t allow children to do so. – See http://www.recordonline.com/news/20160701/bethel-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Looking-for-Kittens-001North Carolina 07/07/16 fayobserver.com: by Chick Jacobs – The State Public Health Lab in Raleigh today reported a positive rabies result in a kitten from Cumberland County. It was the fifth positive case in the county this year. Animal Control picked up a kitten Wednesday at the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville on Fort Bragg Road. The kitten, approximately 4 months old, got into an alteration with an unknown animal sometime around May 25. The owner took the kitten to the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville for treatment of bite wounds to the rear limb and a fractured tibia. Veterinarian staff reported that neurological symptoms appeared Monday or Tuesday. The kitten’s owner resides on Pecan Drive, off McPherson Avenue, in Fayetteville. Animal Control has notified eight people that they must receive rabies post-exposure treatment. The owner and three employees of the animal hospital were bitten or scratched. Two other employees, the owner’s roommate and a friend also handled the cat. – See http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/kitten-has-rabies-people-possibly-exposed/article_a0a8e4b6-c24d-565e-98c1-e7f1e254cd96.html

South Carolina 06/29/16 http://outbreaknewstoday.com/: One person has started post-exposure treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies near the Town of West Union by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported today.  The victim was attacked and potentially exposed to rabies by the stray cat on June 22, 2016. The cat was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on June 24 and was confirmed to have rabies on June 27. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/south-carolina-stray-cat-that-attacks-person-is-rabies-positive-13804/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

d98b45080e6bba0549d1647bc320576aFlorida 07/06/16 http://outbreaknewstoday.com/: by Robert Herriman – The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported on July 5, a new EEE case was confirmed in Jefferson County, Florida. The 1 year old colt had received one previous vaccine against EEE and had no recent travel history. Clinical signs began on June 24 and the horse was euthanized for humane reasons the following day. To date, eleven confirmed EEE cases have been reported in Florida in six counties– Jefferson (2), Osceola (2), Palm Beach (1), Polk (4), Walton (1) and Washington (1). No human EEE cases have been reported in Florida this year to date. For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/eastern-equine-encephalitis-in-florida-11-horses-affected-to-date-57098/

COLORADO toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in backyard ~ Officials warn of SQUIRRELS carrying PLAGUE at two CALIFORNIA campgrounds ~ CONNECTICUTT and SOUTH CAROLINA report CATS with RABIES ~ NIH gives UT $11 million to study CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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Colorado 06/22/16 starherald.com:  As he raced to the hospital with his injured son in his car, a Colorado father called 911 to let emergency room staff know to prepare for something unusual. “I am driving from Lower River Road to (the) emergency room. My 5-year-old has got attacked by (a) mountain lion,” Val Loboda told the dispatcher, speaking quickly but calmly. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s office released the recording of the 911 call days after Friday’s attack outside Loboda’s home in a low-rise block of apartments squeezed between a major road and a river on a mountainside about 10 miles northwest of Aspen. The sheriff’s office released its report Wednesday, identifying the family for the first time. Yuri Loboda and his older brother were playing outside when the mountain lion attacked. Alerted by her older son, Anastasia Yukhtenko ran outside, snatched Yuri’s head from the cat’s jaws. She scooped up the child and ran with him. Loboda then returned from his run and set out with his family for the hospital. In a series of brief 911 calls that were repeatedly cut off, Loboda said he “just wanted to give you a heads up to get ready.” Neither Loboda nor Yukhtenko immediately responded to calls from The Associated Press on Wednesday requesting comment. Earlier this week, they released a statement through a Denver hospital where Yuri was taken with deep but not life-threatening cuts to his head, face and neck after initial treatment in Aspen. They said then that he was improving and they requested privacy. A Pitkin County sheriff’s officer had praised Yukhtenko as a hero. She suffered scratches and bites. – For complete article see http://www.C/news/regional_statewide/son-attacked-by-mountain-lion-dad-tells-er-to-prepare/article_a2c2b738-38d0-11e6-8d55-372d92dc2e4b.html

Bubonic Plague:

California_Ground_Squirrel_Dana_Point_Harbor_2007_2California 06/28/16 http://www.pe.com: by Alex Groves – Ground squirrels from two campground sites in the San Jacinto Mountains tested positive for plague earlier this month, prompting Riverside County officials to encourage precautions. Squirrels from both Dark Canyon Campground and Marion Mountain Campground had antibodies which showed they had been exposed to the disease, according to a news release from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. The squirrels from Dark Canyon were tested June 8 and the squirrels from Marion Mountain were tested June 13, officials said. County officials consider the risk to the public low and the two campsites will remain open as they conduct follow up investigations, according to the county release. “If I had reservations for those campgrounds, I would still go camping,’ said Dottie Merki, program chief for the Riverside County Environmental health. “But I would definitely take the precautions.” Those include keeping tents away from rodent burrows, not feeding or interacting with wild animals and keeping pets on a leash or even leaving them home. John Miller, spokesman for San Bernardino National Forest — which operates both campgrounds — said that even though county officials have not made any recommendations that the campgrounds be closed, National Forest employees are prepared for that possibility. In the meantime, he said, signs have been posted advising campers of the discovery. – For complete article see http://www.pe.com/articles/prompting-806935-jacinto-riverside.html

Rabies:

cat-child445778Connecticutt 06/25/16 http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/: The Hartford Police Department and Department of Health and Human Services are notifying residents that a stray cat recently tested positive for rabies in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. The stray cat was captured and tested positive for rabies after biting two individuals who had been feeding the stray cat. Both individuals received appropriate medical treatment. – For complete article see http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2016/06/25/captured-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

IMG4336e-L-001South Carolina 06/28/16 http://www.wfxg.com/: By Amanda Shaw – Some residents in Oconee County are being asked to make sure their pets are up to date on veterinary checks and vaccinations. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a rabid cat was discovered near Main Street and Torrington Road in West Union recently. Deputies said the infected cat was captured and euthanized. – See http://www.wfxg.com/story/32328417/rabid-cat-in-west-union-prompts-call-for-pet-vaccinations

nih.logo_.thumb_National 06/29/16 eurekalert.org: Media Release –  Led by Claudio Soto, Ph.D., researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been awarded $11 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the pathogenesis, transmission and detection of prion diseases – such as chronic wasting disease in deer – that can potentially spread to humans. Soto will explore the zoonotic – the ability to transfer from animal to human – potential of CWD and factors that may alter the resistance of humans to that transfer. His team at McGovern Medical School will also investigate the possibility that prions accumulate in the environment in plants and other surfaces where they may concentrate and remain infectious for years. Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, CYN05aiUAAAkKOLwhich includes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in cattle, scrapie in sheep, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk and moose. All are fatal brain diseases with incubation periods that last years or even decades. “Prion diseases are rare but because of their incurability, lethality and potential to spread from animals to humans, we need to better understand them from how they replicate to the development of efficient detection methods,” said Soto, principal investigator and director of The George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer’s disease and Related Brain Disorders. – For complete release see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/uoth-na062916.php

NEW YORK couple attacked by RABID BOBCAT ~ Another BOBCAT in NEW YORK tests positive for RABIES ~ Researchers discover how WEST NILE VIRUS triggers memory loss ~ Case of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER in MICHIGAN first since 2009.

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/23/16 timesunion.com: By Lindsay Ellis – A bobcat attack in New Scotland left a husband and wife with deep cuts Wednesday afternoon, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. Both are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at St. Peter’s Hospital. A deputy responded to Rock Hill Road at about 4 p.m., where a man and woman were bleeding and a bobcat was shot dead on a house’s deck, Apple said. The woman, sitting outside a neighbor’s house, had heard a hissing noise, Apple said. The bobcat then lunged to bite her multiple times in the arms and legs. Her husband, hearing screaming, left the neighbor’s house, and the animal bit him multiple times. The homeowner, after trying to pin down the bobcat, shot it in the head, Apple said. Apple called the attack “an extremely atypical incident.” – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Bobcat-attacks-New-Scotland-couple-is-then-shot-8319752.php

Author’s Note: According to Spotlight News ” A necropsy was performed Thursday morning at the DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit at the Wildlife Resources Center in Delmar; the adult male bobcat smelled of skunk spray and its face was covered in porcupine quills. Its head was sent to the NYS Rabies Lab at Wadsworth Lab in Guilderland, where it tested positive for the disease (rabies).” – See http://spotlightnews.com/news/2016/06/23/new-scotland-couple-attacked-by-rabid-bobcat/

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/22/16 wbng.com/news: A Bobcat has tested positive for rabies in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County. This is the first animal that has positive for rabies in 2016, according to Delaware County Public Health Services. According to a news release, the Bobcat was sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing. The positive test results were received Thursday June 22, 2016, 2016. There was no human exposure, officials said. – See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Bobcat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Delaware-County-384014311.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

breakingnews-360wNational 06/22/16 http://medicalxpress.com/: Media Release – Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered how the most severe forms of West Nile virus cause memory loss and mood disorders, opening the door to potential new treatments for the mosquito-borne illness. The study, published in the journal Nature, says 50 percent of patients who survive the most damaging kind of West Nile infection often go on to develop memory loss, learning difficulties, a lack of concentration and irritability. Exactly why this happens has been a mystery until now. Researchers discovered that the virus doesn’t kill off neurons but sparks inflammation that prunes synapses, the connections that carry messages between nerve cells. “What we found in mice, and later confirmed in humans, is that it’s not the death of cells that causes memory loss, it’s the loss of nerve cell connections,” said study co-author Kenneth Tyler, MD, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The viral infection activates microglial cells and complement pathways which are helping to fight the infection but in turn end up destroying synapses.” – For complete release see http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-west-nile-virus-triggers-memory.html

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF):

P_infectionK_rockymount_01 (2)Michigan 06/21/16 healthline.com:  by Emily Gadd  –  Besides sunburn and dehydration, there is another thing for hikers and parents to worry about this summer. Michigan has confirmed  that a child has been diagnosed with the state’s first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) since 2009. RMSF is a tick-borne illness caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacterium. Its most distinctive symptom is a red, spotted rash that doesn’t itch. However, not every person who comes down with the infection will get a rash. Other early symptoms include headache, abdominal pain, fever, and confusion. People who receive prompt treatment usually make a full recovery. Untreated,RMSF can cause serious damage to internal organs such as the kidney and heart. Three different types of ticks carry the R. rickettsii bacteria: the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. RMSF is considered a  rare disease, but according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Kansas Hospital, rare is a matter of where you are. – For complete article see http://www.healthline.com/health-news/concerns-resurface-over-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever#1